The purpose of these medical technology innovations is to prolong and extend life and to improve its overall quality for everyone. Listed below are the five best developments that have been made so far:
1. Reducing Melanoma Biopsies
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and invasive surgical biopsies have to be performed for determining whether the dangerous-looking moles pose a threat or are harmless. Dermatologists can now use a hand-held tool for multispectral analysis of tissue morphology, which is called the MelaFind optical scanner. It has been approved by the FDA and comes in handy for providing additional information that can be used by a doctor for deciding whether to perform a biopsy or not. The purpose is to reduce the number of patients who are left with biopsy scars and it also eliminates the cost associated with unnecessary procedures.
2. Electronic Aspirin
Taking two aspirins is rather ineffective for people who suffer from cluster headaches, migraines or other kinds of chronic and excruciating head and facial pain. A facial nerve bundle called sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) is considered responsible for chronic and severe forms of headaches, but a treatment hasn’t been found as yet. However, there is a technology being developed that can blog SPG signals as the first signs of a headache start surfacing. In this system, a permanent implant is done in the upper gum on the side of the head where the headache usually affects. This is a nerve stimulating device and its tip connects with the SPG bundle. When a patient senses a headache coming on, a remote controller is placed on the cheek near the implant thereby stimulating the SPG nerves and blocking the neurotransmitters that cause pain.
3. Robotic Checkups
Technology has turned out to be a cost effective means of providing the best healthcare to as many people as possible. While telemedicine is great for simple health issues, especially in rural areas, another alternative is needed and has come in the form of medical robots. These are designed for patrolling the hospital hallways, doing routine rounds, checking on different patients, managing their charts and assessing their condition without human intervention. The RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot has received FDA clearance and is basically a mobile cart boasting a two-way video screen as well as medical monitoring equipment that can easily navigate the busy hospital hallways.
4. Postponing death with cryonics
Cryogenics is widely practiced these days where the eggs and sperm are frozen and then used later on for the purpose of reproduction. Cryonics, on the other hand, is something we have heard in movies. It involves freezing human beings in the hope that they will be brought back to life when such technology has been introduced. General Cryonics have launched a program for preserving a single organ, which is much more realistic. Which organ? The human brain. Preserving the brain pauses biological time so the patient can be brought back centuries in the future when the technology is developed.
5. Needle-Free Diabetes Care
Diabetes self-care is a major chore and not one that anyone looks forward to. The need for daily insulin shots, drawing blood constantly for glucose testing and the increased risk of infection is highly inconvenient. Luckily, the need for skin shots and pricks is being eliminated with the development of a biosensor that can read the blood analytes through the skin in the form of a patch, thereby not needing to draw blood at all.
It is a handheld device, much like an electric toothbrush, which removes enough skin cells from the top layer that the biosensor can read the blood chemistry. One reading is collected per minute and the data is sent wirelessly to a remote monitor. When the glucose levels in the blood go out of the optimal range of the patient, an audible alarm is triggered. The glucose levels will be tracked over time to give appropriate warning when they exceed the ideal levels. Thus, there is no longer any need for you to put holes in your skin every time you need to check your blood sugar levels.